Love and Relationships

Emotional Isolation or Enmeshment? Steps to balanced love

Listen to your heart for a moment. Does it feel calm, in a place of balanced love with the rhythmic beat that all is well? Or… is it more like a Metallica drum solo, coursing with anxiety? 

Are you suffering from emotional isolation. Or are things just a little too enmeshed right now? 

Are you starved of meaningful connection or has all the change brought a sense of strangulation that has you gasping for air and longing for sweet freedom from what isn’t working? 

If your heart is out of balance, it’s almost certain that the rest of you is as well. It hurts. And often hurts so much we do anything to dull the pain. But let’s just feel this right now. 

Because few things are as important as this: Are you truly loving and being loved? 

You need to be, especially now. Especially in a world where everything that once seemed certain is now so… not.

Do not despair. We can fix this. You can (re?) discover balanced love, even in a time where the whole word is tilting in precarious ways.

Breaking through to balanced love

After asking the tough questions above, it’s very important we look past the hurt and anxiety to see out there a very real, very attainable thing we want: We want to feel close to friends, family and lovers again.

The Five Archetypes can be your guide from where you are now to where you want to be. 

Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.

~ Rumi

Every relationship we have fits together like a jigsaw puzzle to form a portrait of healthy, loving, needed connections. This flow is balanced love–the thing that makes us fully human.

So let’s start with the biggie. The relationship. We want to achieve bliss in love, yet we often thwart it in two ways: 

  1. When we resist transforming into our highest purpose. 
  2. When we choose not to humanize our partner’s needs 

When these two factors coexist, any hope of balanced love is locked out of our hearts.

Getting past the resistance to humanizing others

First, let’s look at resistance.

We create our own barriers to growth and deep love by closing ourselves to empathy and falling into our deeply familiar archetypal maladaptive states and then wondering why our partner won’t change to meet our needs.

This is a surefire path to shutting each other down. Without resistance, that magical spark of balanced love can ignite and the potential for fulfilling intimacy is awoken.

By understanding our stress states and our partners and how they can be combustible, we can begin to help alleviate the second barrier: we start to humanize our partner and balanced love starts to emerge.

So let’s go a little deeper. Humanizing our partner’s needs is pretty self evident. 

“Yes, doll.   It makes sense to me that you would feel ignored after I didn’t call you back all day yesterday.”

Obvious, right?

But it’s deeper than that. To have deep, meaningful, balanced love you need a relationship where you can understand yourself in the context of divergent forces, needs and beliefs. This experience of relationship between one archetype and another is what transforms us from a place of basic exchange into unconditional love at its highest purpose. One type alone cannot entirely fulfill its most transformative purpose without interacting with another archetype.  

Each Archetype when alone can lack insight into the deeper meaning behind challenges in love and fall into unhelpful patterns

  • Fire alone without the perspective of water’s ability to reflect and process ideas and metal’s soothing breath can get stuck in panic thinking her love no longer loves her and may not want to do the work to fix the relationship.
  • Earth alone without the perspective of wood’s drive to move a conversation or a process forward and water’s ability to problem solve gets stuck merely worrying that she could’ve done something to save the marriage.   They believe conflict is bad and they worry about what they will do now that the relationship has ended. 
  • Metal alone without the perspective of fire’s optimism and wood’s desire to move through problems quickly gets stuck thinking, “I’m a failure.”   And can’t stop experiencing sadness over the past mistakes and loss.
  • Water alone without the perspective of fire’s hopefulness and earth’s empathy for others’ feelings gets stuck on what they did wrong, believes they’ll always be alone, fears the future and retreats from the world.   
  • Wood alone without the perspective of earth’s harmony and togetherness and metal’s forgiveness and gratitude gets stuck in anger and they push against anyone or anything holding them back from moving on.

So – on the other hand, when we connect with any of the other four natures – when we relate to what they teach us – only then can we have access to our highest level of being. Here we find that elusive balanced love:

  • Fire imparts joy in empathetic ways to the other four in ways THEY feel most joyful. 
  • Earth nurtures her own and everyone else’s needs to make sure everyone feels cared for. 
  • Metal is forgiving of all people who don’t know all the rules yet and gently teaches us all to learn from our mistakes. 
  • Water imparts peace on all of us and teaches us to stay soft in the face of our struggles – that time will unveil the deeper meaning behind all that is happening.
  • Wood shows us that when we choose courage over anger, we awaken new possibilities for ourselves and others to meet challenges and reach their own goals.

This is just the beginning but it’s an important one. We open our hearts to new ways of connecting, breaking through the anxious, maladaptive ways that come so naturally! (They don’t really, we are meant to naturally flow and love our core type and engage with others with similar empathy, but life does a number on us from day 1. So here we are… fixing it all back to where it was meant to be).

There are so many more layers to this, which we will continue to explore in future posts and in upcoming webinars. If you haven’t subscribed to my mailing list you’re missing offers as we speak! Sign up here.

Things like the different pairs of challenger types and their bridges to loving communication and connection, for example, the polar opposites, Water and Fire.

We all impact each other in predictable and significant ways.   
In the end, it’s all about really caring for one another.   Somehow I think we’ve lost our way in that effort.   It’s time to realign ourselves and build that back into our lives.